If you let an uninvited guest hang out at the party long enough, he’ll drink too much, get involved with the women, and pick on beans.
It took hazmat suits and a barrel of bleach, but the Vikings cleaned up their activated mess just in time Sunday afternoon to run the recalcitrant Chicago Bears out of town for another timely victory.
Four and what?
That would be 4-1, sitting well atop the NFC North with three home wins in the division and a wide open path to the playoffs. The Vikings’ record is unblemished, but it’s hardly flawless.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Fourth quarter comebacks don’t grow on trees, but the Vikes have pulled off three of them in as many weeks. Of course, it wasn’t the 1985 Bears who dispatched 29-22 at US Bank Stadium. More like the 1925 Pottsville Maroons.
Of course, a Double Doink in London last week saved them from an embarrassing loss to the undermanned Saints.
And Dan Campbell’s coaching in Week 3 doomed Detroit more than Minnesota.
No matter. Style points are for fools.
The Vikings’ star players took advantage of the opportunity, building a 21-3 lead that felt even more overwhelming after scoring touchdowns on their first three drives.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a team-high 17 straight passes to start the game. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson had almost as many catches and yards in the first quarter than Chicago’s entire receiving unit. Bears quarterback Justin Fields looked like a scared freshman.
I almost felt sorry for the Bears being bullied like this, wondering aloud when the playground monitors would step in.
Merciful dominators have the decency to drive an inferior opponent behind the barn and destroy them. Instead, the Vikings made us all suffer from severe anxiety on what should have been a day off.
Chicago scored 19 straight points out of nowhere to take a one-point lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.
The Vikings rose from their slumber and regained the momentum. Cousins led an epic 17-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that converted five third downs and bled 7 minutes off the clock.
Cousins’ 1-yard rush into the end zone regained the lead and highlighted the spectacular performance of everyone’s favorite piñata.
October has always been Cousins’ favorite and most successful month. It must be the pumpkin latte he must be secretly sipping in the garage.
But it came out locked. Flawless until late in the second quarter and laser-focused on getting Jefferson involved early and often.
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Yes, his early interception in the fourth quarter set up the go-ahead for the Bears. But Cousins didn’t quit and went on a string of lifeless three-and-outs. We’ve all seen this movie.
He steadily guided them down the field and executed as an elite quarterback should.
“Our team can handle a lot because our quarterback can handle a lot,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said after the game.
Somewhere in Kentucky, Mike Zimmer is chewing on light bulbs.
In the meantime, wake me up when Cousins comes out in November. This month, more than any other, will challenge and define this Vikings season.
A tough trip to gray Buffalo before home games against surging Dallas and relentless New England. Miami was suddenly in turmoil on and off the field. The rest of the schedule is lining up nicely for Minnesota.
Now, for that mid-game Sunday nap?
The Bears were criminally sloppy until Ryan Wright’s 15-yard strike tragedy in the final two minutes shook them up. Darnell Mooney’s circus one-handed catch set up a go-ahead touchdown that kept Chicago relevant.
But the Bears tipped the field and came out on top, killing off a sellout crowd that fueled the booze of Green Bay’s live death in London.
It’s like the twins and the Vikings got together at a dive bar and shared how they like to wrap their arms around each other’s necks.
However, blowouts are an endangered species in NFL 2022. Every play is practically vacuum-packed on the scoreboard, requiring big plays from big players.
All that fun is also putting a dent in the Vikings’ resilience, meaning they’ll be competing with house money when the stakes get higher and the weather gets worse.
“Do we want to blow teams out? Yes,” wide receiver Adam Thielen said. “So we’ve got to find a way when we get to those positions, 21-3, to just keep hitting the gas pedal. But there will be good learning.”
Just review the guest list a little better.
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